Mine for the Taking

Stephen - Santa Monica, California
Entered on June 19, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe in my own Universe. I have lived in this Universe for seventeen years, two months, fourteen days. It’s difficult for me to think of myself like this. I cannot think that I have been alive for this long, and for the billions of years before me where this Universe has lived, there was nothing of me. I am told that there is nothing to trace me but the blood that has pumped through my mother and father that now pumps through me. I don’t think this way, and I don’t want to. For I have been alive for centuries. My mind has seen the vast jungles of Vietnam; my mind has seen the American Revolution; my mind has seen the French one too. My mind has withstood the test of time, reaching far before my family can trace, far before our history can tell. For my mind creates the Universe around me, proving myself limitless, my Universe infinite. I believe in my own Universe.

It’s common for this idea to be looked down upon. I am constantly reminded that I live in a society that dictates how it is that my mind works, and how it doesn’t. It makes me fearful to think that we can maintain religions that teach of those who healed the unhealable, who spoke to the unreachable, who brought wisdom that seemed unattainable, and yet I am limited.

I had a friend who lived to be forty-three. Don was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at an early age. His parents, however, did not give him the proper insulin treatment as a child, and so he loses his kidneys, his eyesight is diminished at twenty, and temporarily loses all his skin… twice. Yet he was the only person I knew who was never caught with a frown. With feet and hands, scarred from his insulin-dependence, the need for blood transfusions, constant hospital visits, and being shorter than my ten-year-old cousin, he still managed to make everyone laugh. On his desk he had a rubber chicken and a pair of glasses whose eyes popped out. He gave me a pie in the face for my birthday, and on Christmas morning, when we learned of his heart failure, he gave me the wisdom of a lifetime; a lesson a million years worth of school could never teach. He was in a coma for sometime, so we let him go.

All I know now is that from then on, I was a different person. I looked at every crack in the pavement differently. I saw the world as it was: mine. I could not let my life be unheard of. I had to live like Don and make my own crack in the pavement. He taught me that this world couldn’t stop me and, like him, I had the power. He taught me that this Universe is mine for the taking, and with my power, I could live my own life, my own way, dictating my own terms.